Shinji Okazaki

Stalemate On The South Coast

Leicester City put in a resolute defensive performance to grind out a goalless Premier League draw against Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
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A frantic opening period saw Jermain Defoe strike the crossbar inside three minutes before Marc Pugh, scorer of the winning goal the last time the two sides met on the south coast, fired wide from a counter attack.

Kasper Schmeichel was then on hand to deny Josh King with his legs, while Junior Stanislas was next to threaten as the forward curled wide with his left foot.

Craig Shakespeare’s men got a foothold in the game following Bournemouth’s bright start and after absorbing pressure, came forward through Jamie Vardy.

On the stroke of half-time, the England international flew down the left flank and delivered into Marc Albrighton, only for Charlie Daniels to put in a vital interception at the back post.

After the break, Schmeichel had to be alert to an Adam Smith effort on 57 minutes, while shortly after, the Denmark stopper palmed away Josh King’s dangerous delivery from the left.

City’s best opportunity of the game came on the hour mark. Vardy trapped a long ball in the area and Shinji Okazaki followed it up with an effort from close range that flew just wide of the mark.

Pugh, Defoe and Andrew Surman all sent efforts off target shortly after, while a strike from Demarai Gray was saved by Asmir Begovic and Wilfred Ndidi had a powerful volley blocked by the Cherries back line.

Substitute Riyad Mahrez was the next man to be denied, before Surman forced Schmeichel into another stop and Vardy sliced wide at the other end.

However, there would be no breakthrough in Bournemouth.

Major moment

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Shinji Okazaki
Shinji Okazaki

Okazaki reacts to firing wide of the mark.

With the Japan striker in red hot form so far this term, you can forgive the Blue Army for thinking his effort on the hour mark found the back of the net.

Shinji Okazaki had scored four goals in six appearances in all competitions heading into the game and when the ball fell to him six yards out, it looked like he would make it five for the season.

But City’s No.20 failed to hit the target and while it would have been a smash and grab given Bournemouth’s earlier chances, the Foxes have also experienced plenty of frustration already this campaign and will take the point.

Who impressed?

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Danny Simpson
Danny Simpson

Simpson impressed against the Cherries.

Not for the first time this season, Kasper Schmeichel looked confident in the City net and made a string of saves during the game to earn himself a second clean sheet of the season.

However, in front of him, on several occasions, stood a defiant and impressive right back in the form of Danny Simpson.

Well known for his consistency, Leicester’s No.2 put in numerous blocks and tackles to thwart Bournemouth’s advances and should be commended for his performance down south.

Where do we stand?

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Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire wins a header in the box.

Leicester City remain in 17th position in the Premier League table after picking up their fifth point of the 2017/18 campaign. However, a victory in their next outing could move them as high as 12th.

Coming up…

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Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho

Iheanacho advances past Surman in Bournemouth.

A two-week pause in Premier League action follows, as the second international break of the season takes place.

City resume their campaign when they host West Bromwich Albion on Monday 16 October (8pm kick-off) at King Power Stadium.

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